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SBD/April 1, 2011/MLB Season Preview
Offseason Acquisitions Helping Boost Red Sox’, Brewers’ Bottom Lines
Published April 1, 2011
SOMETHING GOOD BREWIN’: The Red Sox were not the only team to make a big splash this offseason acquiring players. The Phillies made headlines by surprisingly signing P Cliff Lee, and the Brewers made an equally unexpected move in trading for P Zack Greinke. Milwaukee's addition of Greinke has helped them post growth across several business metrics, including setting a new record regarding merchandise sales heading into the season. Greinke leads the team in merchandise sales, and Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said, "He's been number one in jersey sales and T-shirt sales since we traded for him, and that number is not diminishing." The team also has set a record for sponsorship revenue, which Schlesinger expects to be up 10% over last year. Though the club begins the season with fewer sponsors than last season, first-year and returning sponsors are spending more. With the addition of Greinke, the team also is seeing gains in ticket sales. The Brewers in both '08 and '09 drew more than 3 million fans, and they hope to do so again in '11 after a drop last season. Schlesinger noted the club is up 7% in ticket sales and 5-8% in the season-, individual- and group-ticket categories. He noted after the December trade for Greinke, the team immediately revised its attendance forecast. "I told our sales staff that whatever might have been our budget is no longer our budget and we should all be focusing on 3 million," said Schlesinger. He feels the Greinke acquisition is sending a powerful message about the franchise. "We may not be the biggest market in baseball, but we're planning on playing with the big boys in the fall," Schlesinger said. "Greinke I think is a symbol of the commitment of the team and ownership to doing what it takes to win."